SIGHT SEEING TOUR
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2 Km or 1.2 Miles
Start Time 10am
Port of Ibiza is also known as Eivissa Harbor. In 650 BC, the Carthaginians founded a colony in Ibiza and built a port to serve their naval activities. However, most of the current buildings at the Port of Ibiza are much newer than that. New areas have been built around the port starting in the 1950s. The frequency and number of new structures has greatly increased in the 21st century.
The port area has numerous shopping and dining locations that primarily cater to tourists. There are also a vast number of bars and clubs that are open to anyone over the age of 18.
Those seeking some cultural enrichment opportunities at Port of Ibiza will find the Bloop Festival modern art museum, the Broner House Museum and the Santa Llúcia Bastion nearby. Plenty of sightseeing is available at the port thanks to the numerous boats coming in and out of the harbor.
Port of Ibiza is a short walk from many of the most important places on the island like Pereyra Theatre and the Castle of Ibiza.
The Portal de ses Taules, built in 1585, is the main entrance to the fortified old town of Ibiza and is situated between the bastions of Sant Joan and Santa Llúcia. The entrance gate forms part of the declared UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Dalt Vila old city. The entrance is flanked on either side by headless Roman statues and above the gate is the coat of arms of Phillip II on whose orders the city walls were built.
The statues that adorn the entrance were unearthed during construction of the gates in the 16th century. These days the statues are replicas, but you can see the originals in the Ibiza Archaeological Museum in the Ibiza Old Town. A plaque beneath the Phillip II coat of arms describes his dominions and the components of his royal shield.
When you pass through the gate you will see that the walls are two meters thick. Ibiza was under constant attack by invaders and marauders and needed strong defensive support. Originally there was a moat and a drawbridge that protected the city within its walls from siege. The drawbridge was replaced with a permanent bridge at the beginning of the 20th century.
Dalt Vila is a higgledy-piggledy maze of cobbled streets. It is a residential area, as evidenced by laundry flapping over the balconies, and the local Ibiza people going about their day in the midst of the tourists. But in amongst the traditional white-washed houses, is a fascinating combination of art, style, culture and, of course, history.
Sun Square is a square near the historic center of Ibiza. The stone surface is peppered with trees, potted plants and a stunning vista that looks over the city. Stone steps lead from the plaza to the Sant Pere Bastion, which doubles as a historic landmark and an outdoor theatre at night.
The Sun Square is home to a namesake restaurant that is very popular among tourists. Patrons can make use of outdoor dining where they can relax underneath a sailcloth canopy. They are unencumbered by street traffic as the entire square is closed to vehicles. Patrons can also choose to dine inside the restaurant's ancient building.
The Sun Square restaurant is known for its cocktails and delicious meals. Some of the most popular cocktails are the passion fruit mojito, espresso martini and aperol spritz. The restaurant also has a delicious dessert menu and an impressive wine list.
The restaurant is open from noon to 11:30 PM daily.
The Castle of Ibiza, or Castell d'Eivissa in Catalan, can be argued to be the heart of the island. The castle grounds are located at the top of the fortified Upper Town. The castle is comprised of numerous buildings that include the Tower of Homage, the 8th century Almudaina, the governor's home and the 18th century infantry barracks.
The original foundations of the castle were created in the 12th century, though additions and restorations were continued for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, the castle fell into extreme disrepair and is now in a partially derelict state. Recent restorations have allowed portions of the castle to be open to the public.
Reconstruction efforts have been primarily focused on the Sant Jaume Bastion and the Sant Pere Bastion. Each of these bastions offer exhibitions that are open to the public. While visitors cannot enter the main castle, it is worthwhile to tour both of these bastions and the castle grounds.
The Sant Jaume Bastion is now a military museum. It houses a weapons exhibition with a focus on military technology from the 16th and 18th centuries. Visitors are welcome to touch the items on display, which include cannons, mortar, muskets, helmets and swords.
The Sant Pere Bastion shows the history of the castle. Tourists can see how the city wall was built through an audio visual display. The exhibition includes a reproduction of Renaissance-era scaffolding. Both bastions were designed by Giovanni Battista Calvi in 1555.
The buildings are open from Tuesday through Sunday throughout the year. During the winter months, from October to March, the hours are 10 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays and 10 AM to 2 PM on weekends. From April to September, hours are 10 AM to 2 PM Tuesday through Sunday. The buildings are closed on bank holidays and from December 10 to February 28.
The Saint Mary of Ibiza Cathedral is a major landmark on the island. It has stood at the top the old town of Ibiza since the 13th century. Once you step inside the walls of the Ibiza's historical quarter, your eyes are instantly drawn to the imposing fortified walls of the church.
Following the Catalan Conquest in 1235 when the Christian conquesters ousted the Moorish from “Yebisah”, a grand cathedral was commissioned for the town. It is said that the church was built upon the site of a former Moorish mosque, which was a common practice in colonial Spain to impose the Christian faith to the local population.
The Gothic style tower and chapel are part of the original construction and the interior of the church was redone in the Baroque style in the 18th century. The ancient Monstrance made of silver and gold and dating from 1399 is the cathedral’s most treasured artifact.
The eye-catching Madonna, known as Our Lady of the Snows, is another key feature of the cathedral. Inside the cathedral there is a Diocesan Museum where you can learn more about the church’s historical influence in Ibiza. Admission is free.
Ibiza may be known these days for its weather and parties, but the island boasts a fascinating history too. The Archaeology Museum is located in the ancient Salvador Chapel, the old university building and the inside of the Santa Tecla Bulwark in the old city at Cathedral Square. It is an important aspect of any visit to the Dalt Vila old quarter of Ibiza Town, as history seeps from every crevice of its buildings. The museum itself showcases some 3000 years of the island’s tumultuous past through the many exhibits and artifacts on display.
There are several sections in the museum that examine the prehistoric, Phoenician, Punic, Roman and Moorish eras of the island’s past. One of the highlights of a visit to the museum is seeing the artifacts taken from the Phoenician settlement of Sa Caleta and the cemetery of Puig des Molins. These artifacts are considered to be some of the most significant Phoenician and Punic relics that have been uncovered. Two of the most popular museum pieces are the actual Roman statues uncovered during the construction of the city walls, used to adorn the original main entrance to the old town. From the museum there are also spectacular views out over the bay.
Whenever you visit the Dalt Vila, make sure to go up to the Baluard de Santa Lucía. This is the largest bastion in the fortified Old Town of Ibiza – designed in 1575 by the Swiss military engineer Giovan Giacomo Paleari Fratino (1520–1586), known as El Fratin or Il Fratino ("The Little Friar"), who served the Spanish Emperor Charles V and his son Philip II.
The structure has a rather unusual, asymmetrical plan, with original canons still seen at the top, that once guarded the upper town. Part of the bastion is the so-called Polvorin, a building that used to serve as a powder and weapons depot – currently an exhibition hall. The bastion is also frequently used as a venue for concerts or other events, including parties for the International Music Summit.
Other than that, Santa Lucía offers fantastic views over the harbor and the Gulf of Ibiza, as well as onto the roofs of the old houses of the Sa Penya district, formerly a fishing quarter and now one of the town’s most picturesque neighborhoods.